We started this garden almost 25 years ago in the aftermath of Hurricane Fran. It looked like a war zone then! With $2.4 billion in damage and 13 deaths, North Carolina was hit hard, not just the coastal region but inland also. Our damage was substantial during that horrible, frightening night. My car was crushed by an oak falling on it in the driveway, and many large oak trees fell around the house necessitating a new roof, but thankfully we were not injured. What was formerly just a natural heavily treed area in back became a new project. After assistance with clearing and preparing the lot, Bob and I have done much of the work ourselves over the years. It's amazing how quickly trees, shrubs, and plants grow, even with limited sunlight. We still have a thick overhead canopy of trees despite the ones that fell and the removal later of several tall but dangerous pines on our property. Surrounding us are many trees in neighbors' yards impacting our space. This year we removed a few more large trees to get more sunshine into the back garden to help the small grassy area. Now, slightly overgrown, the privets are more the size of small trees than shrubs and are blending into the azaleas. Heavy pruning is on that lengthy garden 'to do' list come the correct time to go at the shrubs with tools and vigor!
It's harder now and that so true quotation comes to mind